Prized for their peculiar, but marvellous appearance, Aloe plants are surely the most popular and appreciated ornamental succulents worldwide. Most Aloes grow natively in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, and the Arabian peninsula where they thrive in dry habitats.
They come in various sizes and shapes, easily fitting absolutely any spot you choose for them with their luxurious, evergreen tentacles. And what makes these irresistible succulents a top pick for so many gardeners is their super low-demanding style.
The Aloe family include hundreds of species of unique-looking succulent plants that produce thick, spear-shaped and sometimes spikey leaves. Aloe plants can grow with or without a stem, and it is not uncommon for Aloe plants to have serrated margins, teeth, or spines to protect their succulent leaves.
The great majority of Aloe succulents tend to be quite large, so only a few of them are small enough to become houseplants.
In addition to that, Aloe plants are also among the easiest to propagate. They grow in little to no time, making the propagation process a piece of cake and you will be surprised at the amazing results that you can achieve effortlessly. The good news is that there are several ways in which you can obtain more Aloe plants, such as through offsets (division), leaf cuttings, or seed germination.
Keep reading our propagation guide and find out how you can make more Aloe plants, which method suits your needs and your plants best, and some secrets that will help you grow healthy Aloe plants!
Tips & Tricks For Better Propagation Results
- You might want to pay a little extra attention to the propagation medium, no matter what method you opt for. In general, a regular potting mix will not help your Aloe plants retain water and dry properly. A cactus and succulent potting mix, on the other hand, will help you through this process without issues like root rot.
- If you choose to use the offsets of your Aloe plants or their leaf cuttings, you will have to equip yourself with a very sharp knife. Likewise, we recommend you clean the knife after every cut you are making to prevent any future infection on either the mother plant or the future ones.
- Aloe plants propagate at their best in pots that come in a particular size. The more room they get, the better the root development, as they will have enough space to grow as they want. However, containers that are much larger than the tiny new plants might encourage rot. Make sure you use pots that measure about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
- For the first few days and until the new Aloe plants have developed roots, they will require deep watering. Still, this does not mean that you will need to drown them because succulents don’t like soggy conditions. It is wise to spoil the tiny Aloe plants with water only when their growing medium has fully dried out.
- After several weeks or a couple of months, when you notice new growth, it will be the moment when you know that your propagation was successful.
- It is best to keep your new Aloe plants out of strong direct sunlight, but make sure they still receive plenty of indirect light.
- When it comes to growing succulents, the most important environmental need is light – many succulent growers fail to provide their plants with sufficient light for them to develop healthily. So, the ideal location for an Aloe plant is on a windowsill where it will receive a minimum of six hours of indirect light per day. When they do not get enough light, Aloes will become leggy and weak in their effort to reach the light.
- Your home can be an ideal environment for Aloe plants, but it is important to remember that even a small apartment can have several microclimates. Windowsills and locations near windows tend to be sunnier during the cold winter months, but they can also be a bit cooler than the rest of the home. In the summer, some windows will get much hotter than others, depending on the orientation. The ideal temperatures for Aloe plants range between 50°F and 74°F (10°C and 24°C).
Propagation Method #1 – Propagating Aloe Plants Through Offshoots
Although there are several ways to propagate your Aloe plants, doing so using offsets is the easiest method and the one that also has the highest success rate.
If you ask us, this would be the go-to way to make more Aloe plants for you or a succulent-loving friend or family member. For instant gratification, propagating your Aloe plants through offsets is undoubtedly your best choice out there.
To use this method, at first, all you need to have is a very healthy Aloe plant in your collection. Your Aloe plant is more likely to send offshoots or “pups” around its base when it has reached maturity and has a certain age. You will not see offsets on this buddy in its youth, so you will need to wait a bit before it begins to produce some Aloe babies. Once the plants starts to produce offsets, propagation becomes very easy.
In general, the Aloe pups are more than ready for transplanting when they feature a few sets of leaves. At this moment, you can take action by first removing your Aloe plant out of its current pot. You can do this by carefully lifting the plant out while holding it and also tilting the pot without applying any force on the way. In case the roots of your plant have taken over the entire container, you can grab your knife and run it deep down the sides to loosen the roots.
Once you manage to get your Aloe plant out of its container, you can go to the offset separation step. Look for those spots where the offsets attach to the parent plant and cut them all with a clean, sharp knife. The offsets should have roots at their base which will increase your chances to propagate this succulent.
Do not worry about those pups that do not come with roots attached! They will eventually produce roots once you plant them and behave just like their twins with roots.
Once you have all the Aloe offsets, it is recommended to let them rest and form a callus for a few days. This is a mandatory part for the offshoots that lack roots, as it will increase their chance of surviving this process.
Place the offsets on a piece of newspaper or cardboard in a dry, cold, and dark location. You must wait until the cut end of each pup has developed a protective callus, which can usually take a day or two. Once the plants form a callus, you can plant them according to the next steps.
For the planting part, you will have to separate the Aloe offsets with roots from the ones that do not have them. Make sure you have a pot of approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in width that features drainage holes at the bottom for each offset you have.
Fill the containers with succulent potting mix. If you want to prepare your own propagation medium at home, you can add perlite, rock grit, or sand to your regular soil to improve drainage. Make a hole in the centre of the soil with a small stick big and deep enough to hold each of your Aloe offsets. Place the pups in their individual pots, add more potting mix until you fill each pot to about half an inch (1 cm) below the rim, and then press the substrate to compact it.
Spoil the Aloe offshoots with generous drinks to give them a boost from the very beginning. After this, you should water them again when their propagation medium has dried out completely. If you are doing this accordingly, your Aloe pups will produce roots in a few months or so.
Do not forget about the mother Aloe plant. Once you finish planting all your offsets, go back to the plant to give it a bit of love. Firstly, you should wash the original container with hot water and soap. Secondly, fill the pot with a fresh potting mix designed for succulents and replant the parent Aloe plant.
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Last update on 2023-08-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Propagation Method #2 – Propagating Your Aloe Using Leaf Cuttings
The only viable method of propagating your Aloe plant through leaf cuttings would be in the soil. If you think about trying to propagate this succulent by a cutting placed in water, you should know that it will typically rot before its roots show up.
Since this happens pretty often, the chances for your cuttings to root are much better in soil. Keep in mind, though, that this process requires lots of patience. On the other hand, this is the perfect propagation alternative if your Aloe plant does not have offsets around its base.
First things first, cut off a portion of a leaf with a sharp and clean knife. Unlike most succulents, you can remove just the top few inches of each leaf without affecting the overall results. Take clean, neat cuts, then let the leaf cuttings dry out for a few days in a cool, dark spot. There are chances that some of the cuttings will rot instead of forming a callus over the cut ends, meaning that you cannot use them further in propagation.
When you notice a callus on the cut ends of your Aloe cuttings, you can go for the planting part. Fill a pot with well-draining succulent potting soil and plant the leaf cuttings upright in it. If it is a larger cutting, you can also lay it on top of the substrate.
Mist the Aloe leaf cuttings with water regularly to maintain the propagation medium constantly damp. Once the cuttings have produced roots and new leaves, you can opt for a watering routine that suits best your new Aloe baby plants. In case some leaf cuttings do not show results with time, do not discourage yourself! This happens even to most experienced gardeners, as it is not a method that guarantees instant success.
Propagation Method #3 – Start New Aloe Plants from Seed
Growing new Aloe plants from seed is an easy process that requires plenty of time to reward you with spectacular results.
The seeds you collect from any backyard plant will not do the job, as most Aloe plants cross-pollinate with other Aloe species. In other words, the seeds from your succulents might not produce the same Aloe plants as the parent ones.
In general, Aloe seeds need about eight to ten hours of sunlight for germination to occur. This particular lighting exposure is often difficult to provide naturally in most homes, so you will need to think about more options along the way.
You can either sow the seeds in late spring to make sure they receive lots of summer sunlight or you can set up artificial grow lights in your house right above the seeds.
Once you have the Aloe seeds, you can sow them in pots filled with a damp succulent mix. When the soil feels dry to the touch, you can mist it to keep the moisture in place. With moisture and lots of sunlight, the seeds should sprout after one to three weeks.
However, the succulents that emerge from seeds usually grow very slowly and have more established, grown-up Aloe plants will take more time than the other two methods.
With minimal effort on your part, all of your Aloe plants will help you fill your house with lots of new adorable specimens. No matter what types of Aloe you have in your plant family, it is always best to adopt a propagation method that works best for your succulents. The best part about propagating the Aloe plants you already have instead of buying new ones is that you can also have a lot of fun doing it.
Do you enjoy propagating your succulents? Let us know what Aloe plants you propagate and which is your preferred method.